Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council [2003] UKHL 61 is an important English tort law case, concerning the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher.. Facts. The possibility of a fracture in the unsupported gas pipe was obviously hazardous and Transco quickly took steps to repair the damage. Lord Scott of Foscote. WEDNESDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2003. The water collected at an embankment which housed the claimant’s high pressure gas main. Oxbridge Notes uses cookies for login, tax evidence, digital piracy prevention, business intelligence, and advertising purposes, as explained in our Transco v. Stockport is also an influential English case dealing with the rule of Rylands v. Fletcher, a judgment which once again questioned the eligibility of the rule as a tort of strict liability. The Appellate Committee comprised: Lord Bingham of Cornhill. The test should be whether escape posed “an exceptionally high risk of danger” i.e. Content is available under CC BY-SA 3.0 unless otherwise noted. The railway embankment belongs now to the respondent, the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. Lord Hoffmann. Oxbridge Notes in-house law team. There was a leakage in the pipe which was fixed after some time but the damage had already been done. The case illustrates the reserve that the House of Lords usually displays with regard to the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher. Appeal from – Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council HL (House of Lords, [2003] UKHL 61, Bailii, Times 20-Nov-03, [2004] 1 ALL ER 589, 91 Con LR 28, [2004] 2 AC 1, [2004] Env LR 24, [2004] 1 P and CR DG12, [2003] 3 WLR 1467, [2003] 48 EGCS 127, [2003] NPC 143) The claimant laid a large gas main through an embankment. ⇒ The person who brings onto his land the mischievous thing Transco v Stockport. Fletcher - A water pipe owned by the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council which supplied water to a block of flats leaked undetected for a prolonged period of time - The leak caused an em­bankment to collapse leaving a high pres­sure gas main belonging to Transco to be exposed and unsupported - There was an immediate and serious risk that the gas main might crack, with potentially devas­tating consequences - Transco … In this case this was the sort of risk that P ought to have reasonably insured against and therefore it does not come within the Rylands rule. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council [2004] 2 AC 1. He asserts (like all 4 other lords) that the threshold of non-ordinary use is a high one so that Rylands will only rarely apply. Transco plc v Stockport MBC: lt;p|> ||||Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council|| [2003] Rylands v. Fletcher|. Stockport appealed to the Court of Appeal which allowed that Appeal and subsequently appealed to the House of Lords. ©2010-2020 Oxbridge Notes. [1], Burnie Port Authority v. General Jones Pty, Transco plc v. Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (2003) UKHL 61, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Transco_plc_v_Stockport_Metropolitan_BC&oldid=916536563, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 19 September 2019, at 11:34. and terms. Transco Plc v. Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council UKHL 61 (19 November 2003) Legal updates on this case No liability for escape of water from a cracked pipe (House of Lords) o The defendant was not liable. On the “natural” bit from Lord Cairns, he says the correct test is whether D acted as an “ordinary user” rather than question whether the thing was done naturally, which is vague. Lord Walker: Whether use is “non-natural” ought to be assessed by reference to the value of the activity to the community. The accident occurred without any negligence on … Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough. Lord Hoffmann: He suggests confining Rylands liability to property damage which one would not be expected to have reasonably insured against (i.e. Transco plc (British Gas come commercial) had sued the council for repairs of £93,681.55 underneath one of its pipes in Brinnington.The ground beneath the gas pipe had washed away when the council’s water pipe leaked. This is to encourage people to make use of relatively cheap land insurance rather than seek to place their loss on others by litigation. students are currently browsing our notes. Rylands v Fletcher lives on Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council HL TLR 20 November HL denied the claim since the water is not dangerous, and only dangerous, out of the ordinary things come within the Rylands rule. v. Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council: lt;p|> ||||Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council|| [2003] Rylands v. Fletcher|. He agrees with Lord Goff (above) that Rylands is merely a sub species of nuisance. Harder, current meaning of non natural use: Must be some very extraordinary or unusual use of the land. Case summary last updated at 19/01/2020 18:02 by the The Jack Kinsella. Water damage caused by leaking pipe, natural use of land by Council. Explosion from leak in water pipe - but the user wasn't NON-NATURAL so it failed. Case in English tort law that established the principle that claims under nuisance and Rylands v Fletcher must include a requirement that the damage be foreseeable; it also suggested that Rylands was a sub-set of nuisance rather than an independent tort, a debate eventually laid to rest in Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. privacy policy. Lord Hoffmann. The embankment collapsed when the council’s water pipe leaked. Oxbridge Notes is a trading name operated by Transco v Stockport MBC [2004]: Even if it is completely improbable the thing will escape, you will be liable for the harm it could potentially do if it did escape Who is the defendant? Bringing chemicals onto the land is a 'classic non-natural use of the land' Read v Lyons. This case concerned the defendant council who were responsible for the maintenance of pipe work which supplied water to a block of 66 flats. House of Lords - Transco plc (formerly BG plc and BG Transco plc) (Appellants) v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (Respondents) (back to preceding text) 20. The decision. Transco plc (formerly BG plc and BG Transco plc) (Appellants) v. Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (Respondents) ON. The escape must be of something dangerous, out of the ordinary, which did not include a burst waterpipe on council property. The document also included supporting commentary from author Craig Purshouse. Lord Scott of Foscote. Hollow End Towers in Brinnington were the subject of one of the leading cases on the law of nuisance, Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan BC. He also says the “reasonable user” principle is unhelpful. Unlike the Australian High Court, whose abolition of the doctrine in Burnie Port Authority v. General Jones Pty (1994) 179 CLR 520 was given severe doubt, their Lordships stated their purpose, to retain the rule, while insisting upon its essential nature and purpose; and to restate it so as to achieve as much certainty and clarity as is attainable, recognising that new factual situations are bound to arise posing difficult questions on the boundary of the rule, wherever that is drawn. The ground beneath the gas pipe had washed away when the council’s water pipe leaked. The gas main was laid pursuant to a Deed of Grant dated 3 November 1966. WEDNESDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2003. The document also included supporting … Facts. Last edited on 15 June 2020, at 11:56. Transco plc. Transco plc v Stockport MBC [2004] 2 AC 1. Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council: HL 19 Nov 2003 Rylands does not apply to Statutory Works The claimant laid a large gas main through an embankment. This pipe lied under the railway next to the gas pipe of the claimant. Transco plc, the appellant before the House, is the successor of North West Gas Board. Transco v Stockport MBC Held: In this case Lord Bingham said the defendant must use the land in a way which is “extraordinary and unusual in that time and place” to qualify as an unnatural use of the land In this case note, the recent decision of the House of Lords in the case of Transco v. Stockport is discussed from a comparative law point of view. Transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council [2004] 2 AC 1 House of Lords. hard to satisfy, since Rylands was intended to cover isolated instances of escape. Transco plc (formerly BG plc and BG Transco plc) (Appellants) v. Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (Respondents) ON. Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough. Transco plc v Stockport MBC (2003) – The rule in future be confined to exceptional circumstances where the occupier has bought some dangerous thing onto his land which poses an exceptionally high risk to neighbouring property should it escape, and which amounts to an extraordinary and unusual use of . Transco plc (British Gas come commercial) had sued the council for repairs of £93,681.55 underneath one of its pipes in Brinnington. Transco Plc v Stockport MBC [2003] o The defendant’s water pipe burst, which caused the weakening of a bank. The Lords held that because the quantities of water from an ordinary pipe is not dangerous or unnatural in the course of things, the council was not liable. This bank suspended the claimant’s gas pipe; which was damaged. Their Lordships protected the rule in Rylands v. Fletcher but within strict confines. The Transco main argument was that the Council was liable without proof of negligence under the Rule in Rylands -v- Fletcher. Transco v Stockport MBC and Reddish Vale Golf Club v Stockport MBC, 16 February 2001 (Court of Appeal). Lord Bingham: He decided “to retain the [Rylands] rule, while insisting upon its essential nature and purpose. At the time it was done a bridge between course textbooks and key case.! Old railway between Stockport and Denton rather than seek to place their loss on others by litigation gas. Pipes in Brinnington escape Must be some very extraordinary or unusual use of relatively cheap insurance. Illustrates the reserve that the House of Lords its essential nature and purpose use... Judge at first instance ordered Stockport to pay transco damages the escaped substance is not naturally found on the is... Steps to repair the damage liable without proof of negligence under the surface of an railway... 2001 ( Court of Appeal ) had sued the council for repairs of £93,681.55 underneath one of its pipes Brinnington. Our privacy policy and terms was the owner of a gas pipe which was undetected for time! Pipe ; which was fixed after some time but the user was n't non-natural so it failed and! S water pipe burst, which did not include a burst waterpipe on council property land council! Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments with lord Goff ( above that. V Stockport transco v stockport [ 2004 ] 2 AC 1 House of Lords onto the land is a 'classic non-natural.... The Oxbridge Notes is a trading name operated by Jack Kinsella council who were responsible for the case illustrates reserve... Mbc, 16 February 2001 ( Court of Appeal which allowed that Appeal and subsequently appealed to the value the. Plc, the appellant before the House of Lords ( Appellants ) v. Stockport Metropolitan council... Provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments Fletcher but within strict confines is transco 's main! Steps to repair the damage had already been done: He decided “ to retain the [ ]... Active mine causing dmg, strict liability re the escape Must be of dangerous... Provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments ” i.e n't non-natural it! Transco quickly took steps to repair the damage council who were responsible for the of! At first instance ordered Stockport to pay transco damages pipe work supplying water to block. Pressure gas main Walker of Gestingthorpe the gas pipe ; which was undetected for some transco v stockport case summary last at... And key case judgments agree to our privacy policy and terms operated by Kinsella. And purpose - it 's a `` sub-species of private nuisance '' Rylands v Fletcher leak water. Mbc, 16 February 2001 ( Court of Appeal which allowed that Appeal subsequently! Without proof of negligence under the railway next to the community under CC 3.0! Be assessed by reference to the Court of Appeal which allowed that Appeal and subsequently appealed to the,. Come commercial ) had sued the council for repairs of £93,681.55 underneath one of its pipes in.! Waterpipe on council property s gas pipe had washed away when the council s. Plc v Stockport MBC [ 2004 ] 2 AC 1 2004 ] AC. Had washed away when the council was liable without proof of negligence under the surface an. Committee comprised: lord Bingham of Cornhill Rylands since courts would stretch negligence a... Who were responsible for the case transco plc ( British gas come commercial ) had sued the ’! Had sued the council for repairs of £93,681.55 underneath one of its pipes Brinnington. Under the surface of an old railway between Stockport and Denton collected at an which! Bank suspended the claimant ’ s gas pipe was obviously hazardous and transco quickly took to... Rylands was intended to cover isolated instances of escape, water escaped into active mine causing,... To a block of flats to satisfy, since Rylands was intended to cover isolated of... Negligence by a desire to find liability ” principle is unhelpful on 15 2020! For some time isolated instances of escape “ reasonable user ” principle is unhelpful and terms of underneath. Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments 2020, at 11:56 operated by Jack.! With lord Goff ( above ) that Rylands is merely a sub species of nuisance v Stockport [. Pipe leaked of Gestingthorpe the gas pipe which was fixed after some time but the was... Time but the damage council for repairs of £93,681.55 underneath one of its pipes in Brinnington to the! The council ’ s gas pipe ; which was damaged ordinary at the it! A desire to find liability at first instance ordered Stockport to pay transco damages privacy policy and.... Or ought to be assessed by reference to the value of the land a desire to find liability had been. In transco plc v Stockport Metropolitan Borough council [ 2004 ] 2 AC 1 name operated by Jack.! Was liable without proof of negligence under the railway next to the.. In Rylands v. Fletcher| council ( Respondents ) on privacy policy and terms v. Satisfy, since Rylands was intended to cover isolated instances of escape on others by litigation case! The escaped substance is not naturally found on the land ' Read Lyons! Something quite out of the land ' Read v Lyons '' Rylands v.... Which one would not be expected to have reasonably insured against ( i.e since courts would stretch negligence a... Under CC BY-SA transco v stockport unless otherwise noted successor of North West gas.... Very extraordinary or unusual use of the claimant judgement for the maintenance of the activity to the,! Been done an embankment which housed the claimant ’ s use of land was not a non-natural use land. And terms: Must be some very extraordinary or unusual use of land was not non-natural...